Gavin’s early career in research and development as a microbiologist at SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals is complemented by over 15 years experience in knowledge transfer in the UK and in New Zealand.
Gavin was Director of Commercialisation at Massey University and led the team that originally founded PolyBatics Ltd, holding the position of first CEO from 2006-7. Gavin returned to the UK in 2007 and served roles in the Innovation and Growth Team for Industrial Biotechnology, First for Pharma™ (North East England’s pharmaceutical cluster) and the Biopharmaceutical Bioprocessing Technology Centre at Newcastle University where he was responsible for industry partnering and mentoring doctorate students in enterprise.
In August 2012 Gavin returned to New Zealand to be Director of Research and Enterprise at the University of Otago.
Nicole believes that the strategic vision of developing robust relationships, proactively, is the key to creating and delivering results that are both sustainable and tangible. Through this collaborative approach, she openly involves people in the mission of the business/project and from this, outstanding results are created. Her commercial expertise has been built from a drug discovery research base with substantial experience in product development, raising capital, IP strategy, securing grant funding and licensing new technologies.
Nicole Signal has over 20 years experience working in drug development, in CEO, Operations and Development roles within a number of venture capital backed start-up biotechnology and drug development companies in New Zealand (Proacta, Pathway Therapeutics, Saratan Therapeutics), Australia (Neuprotect, Nephrodynamics, Cortical, Paranta), the UK (Almac) and USA (Glaxo SmithKline, Parexel). Nicole has a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry from Monash University and an MBA from Melbourne Business School.
Nicole Signal presently works at Evermore Clinical Trials, the trust that oversees all commercial and grant funded research at Counties Manukau District Health Board, in Auckland. In the remainder of her time, Nicole is also leading the set-up of a large sterile injectable facility in the Philippines.
Andy Herbert started work in the biotechnology industry in 1984. After receiving a doctorate in biochemical engineering sponsored by Unilever in the UK, he worked for five years in process development in ICI’s industrial fermentation and biochemicals division. He moved to Canada in 1989 and spent nine years in human vaccine development with Sanofi-Pasteur, ultimately taking responsibility for all vaccine development at the company.
He was part of teams that developed and licensed the world’s most effective acellular pertussis vaccine and the world’s first human cancer vaccine (ImmuCyst®, for the treatment of superficial bladder cancer). In 1998 he founded a biopharmaceutical engineering consulting company in Toronto and over the next eight years assisted more than 30 different biotechnology client companies in Canada, USA, Mexico, Cuba and Argentina.
After moving to New Zealand in 2005 he took a role as General Manager Operations with ICPbio Ltd., leaving the firm in early 2007 to set up as an independent consultant to biotechnology companies, trading as Bioboy Ltd. Based in Nelson, Andy works with a range of New Zealand and Australian companies including those developing pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, food ingredients, new processing technologies and services. He is a member of the organizing committee for the BioProcessing Network, a group of bioprocess specialists based in Australia who seek to find ways to share knowledge and expertise within the biotechnical community.
Nancy has 35+ years of technical manufacturing, product commercialisation and regulatory compliance experience obtained in the US and NZ medical device and pharma industries. She is Managing Director of Brandwood Biomedical NZ, a regulatory affairs and quality consultancy, on the Advisory Board of the University of Auckland Medical Tech Centre of Research Excellence (MedTech CoRE) and a past Board member of MTANZ.
She has developed and managed manufacturing, regulatory/quality and product development teams during her successful career. As Director of Operations and Director of Regulatory and Quality for Mesynthes Ltd (DBA Aroa Biosurgical), a NZ medical device company specializing in regenerative medicine, she wrote and implemented ISO 13485 and USFDA GMP compliant Quality System, successfully scaled-up manufacturing, prepared and submitted 510k, CE and EDQM applications and developed business systems leading to successful product commercialization. As Director of Manufacturing for Ventana Medical Systems, a US in vitro Diagnostics company (now part of Roche), she played a leading role in the product development and commercialisation team for both reagent and instrument manufacturing. She also held the position of Vice President of Operations at Chemicon International (now part Millipore Inc.) and International Enzymes (now dba Cliniqa Inc.) managing both companies successfully through change and growth strategies.
Nancy holds an MBA from Pepperdine University (USA) and a BS in Biology from Northern Illinois University (USA).
Eric Walton is a Research and Innovation Manager for the University of Waikato and is based in Auckland. This is a strategic role for the University, which is to facilitate and increase to the engagement of the University with the business community and stake holders in Auckland, will the aim of increasing research revenues. In addition, Eric also works closely with academics to help them secure funding from research grants.
Prior to joining the University of Waikato in 2015, Eric had a similar role for seven years with the University of Otago and was also based in Auckland. His focus was on Food Science and the Health Sciences. Prior to Otago, Eric was a scientist with 26 years with HortResearch and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, leading programmes in floriculture and optimising flower and fruit production in kiwifruit, working from whole plant physiology to the gene.
Eric has a BHortSci from Lincoln College and a PhD from the University of California at Davis.
National Technology Network Manager for Biotechnologies at Callaghan Innovation
Kimberlee is responsible for Callaghan Innovation’s strategy and work plans for increasing the size and number of Biotech firms in New Zealand. She works with Biotech companies to help them access technical resources and capability across New Zealand, connecting them to Universities, other biotech-focused research organisations and companies. She also works with commercially focused scientists in New Zealand to help them connect across organisations, with firms, and to ensure they are aware of the market forces that can drive their research.
Samantha, a molecular biologist by training, has over 20 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical, medical diagnostic, biotechnology and natural products industries. She has held roles with Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Diagnostics, Invitrogen Life Technologies and was Technical and Process Improvement Manager for Healtheries of New Zealand.
Presently, she directs a consultancy specializing in the provision of scientific, research and development, regulatory, technical and management consulting services. She is Scientific Director for Lifestream International.
Samantha’s philosophy is to enable clients through the implementation of targeted science. She is passionate about the role of science in business and the role of business in science. Her strength is linking clients with scientific and research providers appropriate to their needs, and designing and managing projects which achieve the clients’ strategic goals.
Experienced in both the commercial and science arenas, she is able to make the link for commercial clients to design the project and find the expertise they need, and also work with scientific clients in the area of commercialization.
Samantha has designed and managed clinical and scientific studies, analytical assays, and quality systems. She is experienced in GMP, GLP, regulatory affairs, IP and has managed government grant co-founded industry research to commercial outcomes.
She holds a BSc in Biochemistry and Genetics and a PGDip in Molecular Biology from Massey University and a PGDip Business Administration from The University of Auckland.
Management Consultant – Food, Beverage and Primary Sector
Hayden is a Management Consultant in PwC’s Global Food Supply and Integrity Services team. Uniquely positioned at the crossroads of commerce and science, Hayden is a qualified winemaker, holds a Bachelor in Business Studies, Bachelor of Biological Sciences and an MBA. Hayden is also a Member of the Institute of Directors.
With 20+ year’s management experience across the food, beverage and primary sectors in New Zealand, USA and UK, Hayden’s has particular expertise in horticulture, viticulture, apiculture and high value boutique foodstuffs, for example manuka honey.
The global megatrends of resource scarcity, changes in demographics and technological breakthroughs are just some of the forces driving exceptional change in our world. With this change comes a whole new set of challenges and opportunities. With PwC Hayden assists companies to deliver on their brand promise to customers, whilst successfully navigating these major shifts in business and society as a whole.
Alex Medway spent 15yrs at a managerial level in the hospitality sector before following her love of science. She then completed a BSc Hons specializing in medical chemistry with her research focus being the formation of novel heterocycle motifs from bio-mass derived starting material at the University of Auckland. Upon completion of her degree Alex started a career as a technical representative for Micronz working with CRIs and industry across R&D, QA and process.
Alex is also the co-owner of a small business in the automotive sector for which she manages all the administration and will be starting an MCE at the University of Auckland to develop her business skills specific to the science and start-up sector.